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ACL Quarter-final First Leg: What They Said


Sunday, September 2, 2018
AFC Champions League 2018 - Knock-Out Stage - Esteghlal FC (IRN) vs Al Sad (QAR) - Azadi Stadium 27 August 2018 Tehran Iran

Kuala Lumpur: The first leg of the AFC Champions League quarter-finals saw some exciting games and shock results, the-AFC.com looks back at the reactions of some of the players involved in the final eight. 


I am happy with our attacking intent. This is the fifth match I scored two goals, but nothing is over yet. We went 50% of the way, but there is another 50% to go in Doha in the return leg.

Baghdad Bounedjah may be the 2018 AFC Champions League's leading scorer, but the Al Sadd striker is intent on avoiding complacency, despite the side holding a 3-1 advantage over Esteghlal after the first leg in Tehran.

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Many things happened in these couple of days, our head coach resigned and we felt that. But I am so happy, and so are all my teammates, that we could put on this performance for us and our ex-coach. I know he was supporting us and cheering, I think he is even happier than us.

Two-goal hero Dejan Damjanovic is delighted with Suwon Samsung Bluewings' performance in their 3-0 away win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, despite off-field difficulties.

We managed to get a goal in the first half. We wanted two or three goals but fate wasn't in our favour. The next step for us now is to focus on our next game in the league, go to the national team camp and then return to play Persepolis again in the second leg.

Al Duhail forward Almoez Ali was disappointed that the Qatari side will only take a 1-0 lead into the return meeting with Persepolis at the Azadi Stadium.


We arrived in Japan only one day before the game, we needed to arrive two days before really. We had some travel difficulties – this is not an excuse – but of course it’s better to arrive two days earlier for match preparation.

Tianjin Quanjian star Alexandre Pato admits that missing their original outbound flight to Japan was not an ideal preparation for their quarter-final first leg. The Chinese Super League side lost 2-0 at Kashima Soccer Stadium.

We had some chances in both halves; we missed two or three good chance. We weren't bad. We can even say that it was a good match. 1-0 is not a bad result for us. There is now a second leg to play in Iran and obviously, it will be a tough one. Hopefully, we will be able to satisfy our fans in Iran and also those who supported us here in Qatar.

Persepolis midfielder Bashar Resan downplays the first leg defeat to Al Duhail in Doha, and remains confident the Iranian powerhouse can turn the match around in three weeks' time in Tehran.

Every day I finished training with shooting practice, and have been brushing up in that area more than before. There was maybe an element of luck for my goal today.

But if you don’t have the technique or ability then you can’t finish those chances off, so I think an accumulation of the work I have been doing came out here.

Leo Silva insists that practice made perfect in Kashima's 2-0 win over Tianjin Quanjian after the defensive midfielder netted a rare goal to open the scoring in the first leg.

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